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  1. #61
    vpwphoto's Avatar
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    Snick... slightly off topic, but I drove 60 miles to a Leica dealer last week, and they said they had no Leica that I could handle, ("they were in a vault in the basement"). I persisted but was told they were all new in box, and no lens (not even used) in stock.
    I suppose the only way to examine one was to say I would purchase it on the spot.

  2. #62
    36cm2's Avatar
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    This thread has me wondering about APUG's (and other photo forums') role in the demise of retail photo stores. Has APUG's excellence as a meeting place for film photographers eclipsed the historical value of the local photo shop as an access point to experienced photographers, printers and technology gurus? Few retail stores retain expertise behind the counter and probably even fewer still serve as a hub of the local photographic community.

    I guess what I'm saying is that it's not just about money or business models. Part of the demise of retail photo outlets is a natural side effect (good or bad) of technological connectivity and the move to e-community. For the world of film photography, APUG has likely played a big role in that change.

    Leo
    "There is a time and place for all things, the difficulty is to use them only in their proper time and places." -- Robert Henri

  3. #63
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    I was at B&H like 2 months ago as I was in the area. Went to pick up some basic necessities (developers, rodinal and lpd) and on the whim decided I wanted to buy a soft release for a canon Demi half frame that had a terribly recessed shutter button.

    After talking to and being misdirected by 3 sales associates around the store, I was told to look it up at their online site, which showed the product, but was told to order it online anyway as they didn't physically carry it. (still pay $5shipping for $2 product)

    Oh btw their stock/product moving system lost my items and I had to stand at the help line and wait 35 minutes for them to find it. (it was misplaced on the wrong hook section, so it goes)

    I would gladly go online and pay shipping the next time as their service is crap if you don't buy an expensive item and to avoid all of this hassle.

  4. #64
    vpwphoto's Avatar
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    @36cm2.
    My handy local camera shop cut it's own throat... used to have a monthly account and I used to stack stuff up on the counter and pay on time every month, but they got rid of that because of a couple bad apples and said they had to be fair to "everyone".
    Then they started classes on how to do your own "senior photos". ... might have been inevitable, but it pissed off us loyal pros that willingly paid a little extra rather than go mail order from NYC or Chicago.
    Now I am thinking of becoming that "little camera hub" as the old one is almost dead and boring.

  5. #65
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    One thing that bugs the hell out of me is when I go to a retail store, looking for some item and the sales person says, "No, we don't have that but I can order it..."

    My stock answer is, "Well, if I wanted to order something I would have saved myself a trip to the store, stayed home and ordered it from the internet!"

    Seriously! I get in my car, brave the shopping mall traffic, spend the gas money and generally inconvenience myself in order that I can physically go into a store, speak to a human and see and touch the product I want to buy BEFORE I buy it! I will pay the extra premium in price an forgo the "online discounts" in favor of being able to inspect the merchandise and ask questions in advance of the sale. Besides, shipping charges usually make up for most if not all of those discounts anyway.

    I am angered and disappointed when I go to a store and get that kind of canned response. It is retail stores that do this that are killing the retail market! Yes, WalMart and many of the other stores are taking a big bite out of local businesses but there are a lot of things that WalMart can't provide. You'd be hard pressed to find an employee at WalMart who knows anything about the products let alone who has two brain cells to rub together. Those who do know are so pressed for time that they can do little more than point toward the products on the shelves and say, "It's in aisle nine..."

    What these "big box" retailers don't realize (or WANT to realize) is that 90% of the shopping experience is social.
    It's about going to the store, talking to people and exchanging information. It's similar to the way guys used to hang out at the barber shop and shoot the bull. Maybe only half the guys in the shop wanted hair cuts. The rest were there to talk about last night's game on TV or what the politicians said in the newspaper. That is what made that barber's business! Most people didn't need to get a haircut every week but they did it anyway because they got to socialize with the shop owner and the other people who hung out there. This is one very important reason why stores like WalMart can be detrimental to a town. They eliminate the social structure.

    The more I consider, the more I think there's wisdom in being Amish.
    Okay, seriously, joking aside... The main reason the Amish don't use telephones is because they value the social relationships between family, friends and neighbors more than the convenience of talking, long distance, on the phone. It's not because they think that technology is somehow "evil." Instead, they believe that, if you want to talk to your neighbor, you should walk to his house, knock on the door and speak to him face-to-face and in person.

    This shop in Australia that charges a fee to shop there has probably done so because they have lost touch with the social aspects of doing business with the public and are forced to resort to such tactics. The problem is that, in doing so, they drive themselves away from their customers and make the problem they face even WORSE, not better.

    The most important things in life are your family, your friends and the people around you in your neighborhood.
    If you take care of the people in your life, your business should follow. If your business is failing its because you're not taking care of the people in your life.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  6. #66

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    When I find a store of any type with great salespeople, I support it and them, and the opposite, too.

  7. #67
    36cm2's Avatar
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    That social experience is what I'm getting at, Worker 11811. From the perspectives of expertise and breadth of personalities, sites like APUG crush the direct human "shoot the bull at the local film store" experience. Not saying it's good, just saying it's happened.
    "There is a time and place for all things, the difficulty is to use them only in their proper time and places." -- Robert Henri

  8. #68
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    I just got a phone call from my local camera store. The guy called to tell me that he just got a new camera on consignment.
    The last couple of times I was there, I was looking at the cameras in the consignment case and the guy remembered.

    He called me up to tell me that he just got a complete 4x5 monorail camera with lens, film holders, case and even a pack of Polaroid film and a pack of Kodak sheet film. The whole outfit, including a case is offered for $400 and, because I go in there at least once or twice per month to buy something (even if it's just a 120 roll of Tri-X) he's will consider waiving the consignment fee. (Meaning, if I play my cards right, I can get it for even less.)

    Do you think WalMart, B&H or Adorama could do that?
    Nope!
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  9. #69
    vpwphoto's Avatar
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    Retail is tough...
    ... I gave my local shop a mini-lecture that a store should be a store.
    They no longer cary "clear" stop bath. But said they would order it.
    I they said it would take 2 weeks. I told em Freestyle will have it to me is 2-3 days.
    I don't expect them to have a Nikon 45mm PCE on the shelf, I do expect them to cary D-76, stop bath, and a variety of fixers.

  10. #70
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    One thing that bugs the hell out of me is when I go to a retail store, looking for some item and the sales person says, "No, we don't have that but I can order it..."

    My stock answer is, "Well, if I wanted to order something I would have saved myself a trip to the store, stayed home and ordered it from the internet!"

    Seriously! I get in my car, brave the shopping mall traffic, spend the gas money and generally inconvenience myself in order that I can physically go into a store, speak to a human and see and touch the product I want to buy BEFORE I buy it! I will pay the extra premium in price an forgo the "online discounts" in favor of being able to inspect the merchandise and ask questions in advance of the sale. Besides, shipping charges usually make up for most if not all of those discounts anyway.

    I am angered and disappointed when I go to a store and get that kind of canned response. It is retail stores that do this that are killing the retail market! Yes, WalMart and many of the other stores are taking a big bite out of local businesses but there are a lot of things that WalMart can't provide. You'd be hard pressed to find an employee at WalMart who knows anything about the products let alone who has two brain cells to rub together. Those who do know are so pressed for time that they can do little more than point toward the products on the shelves and say, "It's in aisle nine..."

    What these "big box" retailers don't realize (or WANT to realize) is that 90% of the shopping experience is social.
    It's about going to the store, talking to people and exchanging information. It's similar to the way guys used to hang out at the barber shop and shoot the bull. Maybe only half the guys in the shop wanted hair cuts. The rest were there to talk about last night's game on TV or what the politicians said in the newspaper. That is what made that barber's business! Most people didn't need to get a haircut every week but they did it anyway because they got to socialize with the shop owner and the other people who hung out there. This is one very important reason why stores like WalMart can be detrimental to a town. They eliminate the social structure.

    The more I consider, the more I think there's wisdom in being Amish.
    Okay, seriously, joking aside... The main reason the Amish don't use telephones is because they value the social relationships between family, friends and neighbors more than the convenience of talking, long distance, on the phone. It's not because they think that technology is somehow "evil." Instead, they believe that, if you want to talk to your neighbor, you should walk to his house, knock on the door and speak to him face-to-face and in person.

    This shop in Australia that charges a fee to shop there has probably done so because they have lost touch with the social aspects of doing business with the public and are forced to resort to such tactics. The problem is that, in doing so, they drive themselves away from their customers and make the problem they face even WORSE, not better.

    The most important things in life are your family, your friends and the people around you in your neighborhood.
    If you take care of the people in your life, your business should follow. If your business is failing its because you're not taking care of the people in your life.
    The reason they don't have it in stock and "can order it for you" Randy is that as the economy gets tougher and tougher stores can't afford to keep large amounts stock on the shelves that isn't selling because they have to pay for their inventory on their shelves which is dead money and could be worth hundreds of thousands of £ or $ accruing no interest until it is sold, so they use the importers or wholesalers as a warehouse for the less popular items to save money and get them for customers on request, so they aren't carrying things in stock that aren't selling on a regular basis.
    Ben



 

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